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Facebook Airs Its Apple Grievances

Posted August 28, 2020 | Apple | Facebook | iOS | Social | Windows

Facebook says that Apple rejected an app update that informed its own customers about Apple’s App Store fees. And the firm is warning advertisers that a major privacy-related change in iOS 14 will negatively impact ad performance.

“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes,” a Facebook statement notes. “Unfortunately, Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30 percent tax, but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”

According to a Reuters report, Apple rejected an app update that included information about Apple’s 30 percent fee because it was “irrelevant.” But the app in question is a tool that helps influencers and businesses host online events as a way to make up for lost income due to COVID-19. So that information is, in fact, quite relevant because it explains why a huge chunk of the money they’d otherwise earn through the app was being siphoned away by Apple. For some reason.

Facebook says it asked Apple to waive its normal 30 percent fee so that it could pass along all of the revenue to business owners. But Apple declined.

Separately, Facebook is warning advertisers that they can expect weaker ad performance once Apple rolls out iOS 14 to its iPhone users. The social network’s advertising partners rely on an iOS feature called Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) that targets users by interest and then tracks them if they interact with mobile ads. But Apple is making big changes to IDFA in iOS 14 for privacy reasons. And that will impact advertising-driven companies like Facebook and its partners.

“We expect these changes will disproportionately affect Audience Network given its heavy dependence on app advertising,” Facebook explains. “Like all ad networks on iOS 14, advertiser ability to accurately target and measure their campaigns on Audience Network will be impacted, and as a result[,] publishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease. Ultimately, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14. We expect less impact to our own advertising business, and we’re committed to supporting advertisers and publishers through these updates.”

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